TCSD Conversation: February 2017 – James Ismailoglu

James with triathlon legends Chris Lieto and Craig Alexander

TCSD Conversation by Craig Zelent

I recently had the chance to talk triathlon with James Ismailoglu.  James does a lot of heavy lifting for the TCSD as he is our Membership Director and one of our beginner coaches.  If you are at a Tri Club event, then James is probably there, too.  I know you will enjoy getting to know James.

Craig: What sports did you do before triathlon?

James: I used to play soccer during my high school years in Turkey many, many years ago. I was a terrible runner, couldn’t even run a mile without stopping multiple times. Fast forward to the recent years… In 2008 I had a couple of 5Ks that I used to brag about, turkey trot and MCRD marine bootcamp 5K.

Craig: How did you get introduced to triathlon and the TCSD?

James: In May 2009, I was at a beach birthday party and was introduced to a triathlete. We talked for a while. I was asking him lots of questions trying to learn more about the sport. At that time a triathlete was a civilian version of a navy seal to me.  I had big respect. On the same evening I started searching, learning, reading more about this triathlon thing. Honestly it was scary at first but I wanted to give it a shot.

Craig: How did Team Solana change your life?

James: When I started to search about Triathlon, TriClub San Diego was on the top of my search results. I found out about their Team Solana training team. This was the first year of the Team Solana.  Entry fee was $350.  It included membership to the club, race entry to Solana Beach Triathlon, 10 weeks of coached training, many clinics for injury prevention, nutrition, core and of course swim, bike and run. Great deal!  Our beginner coaches were Steve Tally, Dean Rosenberg and Steve Koci.

In the following years I was a part of the Team Solana as a mentor, beginner coach as well as my other Team Solana friends the “ORIGINALS”. We enjoyed helping the new comers to the sport, mentor them, coach them and train with them.

Craig: I have heard that you just did your 240th race.  That is a lot of racing for a guy who started in the sport relatively recently.  What do you love about racing?

James: After I got the Tri bug, my dream was to become an Ironman. I volunteered for Ironman Arizona in November 2009 (3 months after my first ever triathlon) and got an entry for 2010 Ironman Arizona.

Here are a couple of crazy things to mention on my Ironman training. I did a century ride in Fiesta Island, yes 101 miles in circles (22 loops). Another day 7 hours 20 minutes at the gym, yes. 6 hours on the stationary bike, one hour treadmill run.

I was going full speed, I raced two 70.3 triathlons in 2 weeks. Super Frog and Oceanside 70.3 (2010). I raced my first Ironman in November 2010. Nothing describes that feeling crossing the finish line after a rainy, windy 140.6 miles.  And I did it again the following year. I guess this is little backward but I raced my first Olympic distance triathlon after my full Ironman 140.6. Go figure!

My crazy race life started in 2009 with 20 races and 35 in 2010.  I competed in my 243rd race in February 2017. I enjoy racing, I love being on the start line and even more crossing the finish line, such a rush feeling. After these crazy distances I started enjoying shorter races more, going all out and finishing fast. This helped me to focus on the speed more than the endurance. Now they are my favorites, sprint triathlons and 5K run races. I started winning my Age group or getting podium finishes on short races. I won my age group at TriRock Triathlon and qualified for age group Nationals in Omaha, also started to have 5K podium finishes.

I am also honored to be accepted to Team Zoot triathlon team this year, which brings more competitive edge to my racing life.

Craig: What are a few of your favorite races?

James: Solana Beach Triathlon 2009 was my first official race and it will be always special. That’s why I call Solana Beach my 2nd birth place. Here, I was re-born as healthier, slimmer, fitter and faster. I’ve started doing something different last year on this race, Duathlon and Triathlon combo back to back.  Duathlon is the first race of the day. I finish the duathlon, go back to transition area to change and go down the beach to start my triathlon.

If you live in San Diego and are considering Ironman, Ironman Arizona is one of my favorites. I love this race, just pack up and drive, no need to worry about the bike transport or paying extra to airlines for your luggage. City is very nice, course is very spectator friendly.  If you have family or friends with you, they will see you many times during the race. This usually is not the case for the long races. This race was my choice for both my Ironman races.

If you are into the short and fast races, nothing beats the Carlsbad 5000. It is called the fastest 5000. You can spend the entire day in this beautiful city. There are 5 races on the same day, you can do your own race, watch your family, friends race or sit down and watch the pros running the 5K in 13 minutes (scary). They also offer 5K all day, you can participate all five 5K races. I also like the expo, breakfast, restaurant options between races. Nice sporty day for the entire family, actually it became our tradition. Last year we had 9 runners from our family.

Craig: What was your experience like at the 2016 USA Triathlon National Championships in Omaha?

James: After winning my age group at TriRock I received an invitation letter from USAT to the 2016 USA Triathlon National Championships in Omaha.  I was very excited to race with top age group athletes from around the country. I started working on the logistics as much as the athletic side. Out of town races require good planning.  You need to make sure to start early, from hotel booking, bike transport, flight arrangements and you need to give some time to yourself after you arrive for meetings, expo and acclimatization. You have to have a very detailed check list not to forget anything. Nationals weekend had 2 races, Olympic on Saturday and Sprint on Sunday. Since I was already there and my bike and race gear was there, I decided to race both distances on back to back days like many of the other athletes did. This is a very well organized event.  Don’t miss it if you get an invitation.

Craig: Congratulations on your qualification to run the 2017 Boston Marathon.  What lessons did you learn with this process?

James: While I enjoy the short races, running the Boston marathon was on my radar. Since the triathlon is a seasonal sport, I stay active as a runner during off seasons. I started doing long runs to work on my run endurance, ran multiple local marathons. I qualified for Boston in 2016 twice. My first qualification was by 33 seconds. I knew this was not going to be enough to be accepted for the entry. I needed a larger cushion and got my 2nd qualification at Mt Charleston Marathon by about 4 minutes. I knew this was my ticket to Boston.

Every marathoner knows the mile 20 feeling. I was about to give up at mile 20. Keeping the same pace was going to be enough to qualify, but could I? When I thought about the Boston at that point of the race, it was only 6 miles away, if I needed to start all over again it was going to be 26 mile away, taking the 6 mile option was a no brainer. I am glad I pushed through those little voices in my ear.

Craig: What are some of the dumber things you have done as a triathlete?  (This should be a funny answer so I hope you’ll interject some humor.  You had mentioned the 2009 Superfrog which was your 1st Half Ironman and forgetting your wet suit on race morning.  Tell that story – mention your checklist, how getting to the race so early actually saved you that day, and how your brother really saved you by driving back from Coronado to Solana Beach and back to Coronado to get your wet suit.  And that you had time to spare – you had the wet suit in hand 30 minutes before the race.  And tell the story of doing both the 2016 Solana Beach Duathlon and Triathlon on the same day.

James: When you are chatting with a triathlete, there is always a dumber things list, here are my two best ones:

It was my first 70.3 distance, Super Frog 2010. While I was getting ready at home, I checked my wetsuit off my check list of packed items.  But the wetsuit felt it a little wet. I hung it back to dry. Well, race morning we (my brother and I) hit the road to Coronado Island and I was setting up my transition I realized I didn’t have my wetsuit, oops. It always pays to be an early bird. My brother drove back to Solana Beach, picked up the wetsuit and flew back to Coronado just before the swim start. It was the wildest surf entry.  I probably couldn’t have survived the swim without my wetsuit.

2nd one; Last year when I raced the Duathlon and Triathlon combo in Solana Beach. I installed adapters on my pedals to convert them to platform pedals so that I could start and finish my duathlon with my running shoes. This was going to save time for me not to change shoes twice. This plan worked well for the duathlon, but I forgot to remove the adapters for the triathlon. Here I am running to the bike mount line with my bike shoes, then realized that the pedals still have the adapters installed.  There was no way to click in. They are not easy to remove.  You need some pointy metal (like a key) to pull them out. I borrowed a key from some spectator, removed the platforms and clicked in to start my ride and of course this was over a minute loss on my race time.

Comparing the bike times on the same day, same distance. I noticed that my bike times were identical with run and bike shoes almost a minute less spent in transition. From that day on, I started racing with platform pedals on short races using run shoes only. Here are the benefits. You only change shoes once, you run faster with your bike to the bike mount and on the way back from the dismount to your transition area. Works for me!

Craig: You do a lot for the TCSD.  You are the Membership Director and one of the Beginner Coaches.  What do you do for these roles?

James: I love to give back to the community that brought me where I am today. Currently I am the Membership Director of the TriClub.  I help members with their membership questions, login, password reset etc. I also answer future member’s questions, send them the information they need, help them as a beginner coach/mentor. I organize beginner bike rides and brick runs. I volunteer at almost all race expo’s, meetings or any other club activities. The TriClub has changed my life to become healthier and fitter.  I enjoy the camaraderie, friendship and having many resources to learn more and improve. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others.

Craig: What are the best features of your TCSD membership?

James: I like to share my time with the same minded crowd. Here come the TriClub social events, beginner meetings, club meetings, introduction to TriClub meetings. These are always fun gatherings, information exchanges and sharing the knowledge. There is always something new to learn.

Craig: Who is one of your triathlon hero’s?

James: My triathlon hero is Craig Alexander.  He was the number one during my first years. I asked him on Facebook what he would recommend to a first timer on his Ironman, he posted on my page “Enjoy it, remember we do this for fun, good luck”. That was priceless.

Craig: Who would you like to thank for the success you’ve had as a triathlete?

James: All these things wouldn’t happen if you don’t have the full support from your family. My wife and my daughter were always supportive on this crazy journey from couch to an Ironman and Boston. From time to time, they come race with me too, 5K runs for now, there is always hope to have more triathletes in the house I guess.  And, of course, my brother who saved my butt on Super Frog 70.3.

Craig: What are your future goals in multi-sport?  (I hope you’ll mention your short term 2017 goals – Boston, qualify for Team USA at Du Nationals, break 20 minutes for the 5K.  But I also hope you’ll speak to goals beyond this year.)

James: I will go to Boston this April to enjoy the entire 26 miles with my phone, taking pictures all the way to the finish line. Qualifying for Boston was the hard part.  Now it is time to enjoy it.  My finish time is not the object this time.

On the list of goals; Making it to the Team USA for Triathlon or Duathlon, this will be like going to the Olympics after the age of 50 and another hard one on this list is running a sub 20 minutes 5K.

Craig: James, thank you so much for sharing your story.  I’ve wanted to do this with you for a long time now.  That 2009 beach party was a stroke of luck for the TCSD.  Thank you for all you do.  I look forward to running Boston with you this year.  Good luck at Boston and beyond!

Craig Zelent is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach.  Craig can be reached at 760-214-0055 or

Posted in 2017, Marathon, Running Race, TCSD Conversation, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TCSD Conversation: January 2017 – Holly Stroschine

Holly clearing 12 feet, 8 inches for the University of Oregon

Holly pole vaulting 12 feet, 8 inches for the University of Oregon

TCSD Conversation by Craig Zelent

Recently I got to talk triathlon with TCSD member and TCSD Track and Kids Coach Holly Stroschine.  Holly has been a real trail blazer in her athletic career so I know you’ll enjoy her story.

Craig: What was your athletic background before triathlon?

Holly: I grew up on a farm in Oregon, with a huge forest.  My twin brother and I would run around chasing animals, climbing trees, building forts and obstacle courses, so we were well conditioned for sports.  I remember watching the 1984 Olympics on TV, and wanting very badly to become an Olympian, although I was too shy to start any sports besides swim lessons and gymnastics until 4th grade.  I had watched my brother compete in several years of team sports, sitting jealously on the sideline telling myself “I bet I could do that”.  In 4th grade a friend talked us both into joining Salem Track Club.   I did jumps, hurdles, and 400/800m.  I ended up qualifying for TAC Youth Nationals (now USAT&F) in the long jump and 4x400m relay, and placed 4th in long jump.  I continued track all the way through college.  I set a few track records in middle school, and went undefeated in cross country in 7th grade, until the district meet.  In 8th grade I did volleyball instead (since that was the “cool” sport).  I did a few years of basketball, high school ski team, cheerleading, more cross country and swim team.  I went to high school district meets in swim team, and in several track events.  My last 2 years of high school I also did pole vault, which I broke the Oregon state record in, which helped me earn a scholarship at my dream track school, the University of Oregon.  I traveled with the U of O track team for 4 years, each year vaulting in the Pac 10 Championships.  I also pole vaulted at US and Canadian Nationals, trying to qualify for the Olympics and World Championships.  I am ½ Canadian, and their Olympic team was a little easier to make, though I narrowly missed it.

After college I continued pole vaulting one more season, though quickly realized how difficult it is for an athlete to compete at that level without team funding, while working full-time, with no sponsorship.  So I stopped competing.  That left a huge physical and emotional void in my life, which I spent some time filling with competitive surfing, but can finally, truly say is being healed through triathlon.

Craig: What was your first triathlon like?

Holly: My first triathlon was the 2010 Santa Catalina Triathlon.  I was quite nervous, considering I had just delivered a baby 10 weeks prior, and the night before I fell off my bike, trying to change gears too late while turning uphill.  A guy watching told me I shouldn’t be racing that course, which didn’t exactly help my confidence.  I had only bought or sat on a road bike 2 weeks prior.  I don’t recommend this.  The race went surprisingly well!  Swimming felt great, since I had swam a lot during pregnancy.  The bike was uncomfortable, but surprisingly, and dangerously fast considering my experience.  I was thrilled to see and utilize a “real” bathroom right along the start of the run course.  The run was my least favorite, and most challenging, since I really hadn’t been running since early pregnancy.  Though I only walked up one steep hill, and came in 8th in my age-group.  That was quite exciting, so I was hooked!

Craig: You did that race 10 weeks after giving birth to your daughter.  What did you learn about the health benefits for mom and baby when a woman regularly exercises throughout pregnancy?

Holly: I planned to run as long as I could into both my pregnancies, but at just 3-4 months in, I couldn’t tolerate it.  I did some “cardio” machines and modified strength training during both pregnancies, which has known benefits like decreasing nausea, less discomfort, less fatigue, lower resting HR, greater VO2max, increased cardiac output, shorter and less complicated labors, lower c-section rate, less weight gain for moms, higher energy levels during and after pregnancy, and healthier birth-weight for babies.  Even though I took pretty good care of myself with my first pregnancy, I ended up with pre-eclampsia, and was forced into an early induction.  In the hospital I was given a lot of medications I didn’t want, which led to feeling sluggish postpartum, a slow recovery, a lack of motivation, and a very difficult time losing pregnancy weight.

For my second pregnancy, I signed up for my first tri, the last triathlon I could find that year, as I wanted motivation to keep healthier through and post-pregnancy.  I consistently rode a recumbent bike, “ran” on an eliptical, and swam at the YMCA, while my 2 year old utilized their free childcare.  Thank God for YMCAs!  I gave birth to a very healthy 8 pound girl, drug-free at home (planned).  The difference between an un-drugged home birth, and drugged-up in the hospital was incredible!  I felt amazing immediately after giving birth, as the body’s endorphins and other post-delivery hormones weren’t interrupted from their natural cycle.  I breastfed both kids, as human milk is the best nutrition for our babies; it contains antibodies that help fight viruses and bacteria, it helps prevent breast cancer in mom and baby, creates a strong bond between mother and child, and it’s a great way to help moms return to pre-pregnancy weight.  Moms must remember that our babies’ nutrition is whatever we put into our bodies, so we’ve got to eat more plant-based foods, healthy fats, and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Starting exercise postpartum requires significant core rebuilding, though cardiovascularly it can feel great.  During pregnancy, a woman’s cardiac output increases 30-50%, and does not drop immediately after the baby is born.  With more blood flow, we have a higher oxygen carrying capacity, which can make us feel super-human.  Unfortunately it doesn’t last forever, although we can prolong exercise related benefits by breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding mildly keeps blood flow higher, increases our metabolic rate, and releases the hormone relaxin.  Relaxin makes our joints more flexible, like a natural muscle-relaxant, which allows a greater range of motion, or a greater stride length running. We must be careful though. Nutrition and gradual progressions are key, because too much exercise while breastfeeding can lead to stress fractures or other injuries.

Craig: What inspired you to start a triathlon club in Japan?

Holly: In 2011 I qualified for USA Triathlon Nationals, but couldn’t go because we had military orders to Japan. I was very excited to hear that a couple bases in Japan held annual triathlons and a duathlon.  I was thrilled with the opportunity to compete with the Japanese, and wanted to find people on base to train with.  I also didn’t want to risk losing the progress I had made since beginning the sport, and wanted to qualify for USAT Nationals again as soon as we returned to the US.  So, I started Iwakuni Triathletes in 2012, got a bunch of my running mom friends to join and start competing in the multisport events.  We certainly increased the number of women participating in these male-dominated events.  The club still exists, though memberships are constantly changing as service-members relocate.

Craig: What are your favorite benefits of being a TCSD member?

Holly: I first joined the club when I heard they had free races.  If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to hold yourself accountable, this is it.  With consistent races at the same location, you can check your progress against your own time and teammates.  I love how the races have free food, which is also great motivation for my kids to participate.  Kids do shorter races.  We also love the club meetings, where we get to meet pro triathletes, get free food, and occasional raffle prizes.

Craig: What volunteer roles have you held in the TCSD?

Holly: I began coaching track practices with Bill Gleason at UCSD in 2014.  We currently alternate coaching workouts, though the location is in the process of being changed.  Please check club updates for our new location.  In 2015 I led a trail run in Mission Trails Regional Park for one season, and would like to continue that again when I have time.  I was recently asked to take over the TriClub Kids Program.  We have short kids races during appropriate adult races, plus other fun training opportunities.  I am hoping to add kids track practice at the same time/location as the adult practice.  Our kids participation is currently small, but I would really like to expand it, by adding more consistent workouts and adding kids events to more adult events, to encourage more participation for parents and children.  Please contact me at the email below if you have a child you would like to participate, or if you’d like to help this program in some way.

Craig: How has volunteering enhanced your TCSD experience?

Holly: I have met so many wonderful athletes of all abilities.  It has allowed me to build lasting friendships, find training partners, and has influenced my own coaching business.  As a coach, it has broadened my horizons, meeting so many different personalities, opening me up to a wider range of events, like Xterras.  Without volunteering, I don’t believe we can fully appreciate what others do, or meet or get to know nearly as many athletes as we do when helping out.

Craig: What is your coaching background?

Holly: Prior to coaching triathlon, I began volunteer coaching youth track events and adult runners around my 4 years on the University of Oregon track team. I also did some assistant swim team coaching as a lifeguard after high school. I started personal training in 1998, while competing in college track, to help pay for necessities.  I had many track injuries, so I pursued a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine, and spent hundreds of residency hours to become a certified athletic trainer (ATC).  I worked as an ATC after college, got married, then went back and forth between athletic training and personal training as my husband’s military career sent us many places.  After having children, I have focused on part-time triathlon coaching and personal training.  In 2012, I started teaching running classes again.  In 2013 I licensed my business Peak Conditioning for personal training and multi-sport coaching in San Diego.  In 2014 I became a Level I USA Triathlon Certified Coach.  I plan to take the Level II USAT Coach Certification Clinic as soon as convenient in 2017.  This year I have also been offered a pole vault coaching position with Cathedral Catholic High School, one of the best local high school track programs. I will continue to write training plans and hold events for my Peak Conditioning athletes around those hours.

Craig: What mistakes have you made as a triathlete?

Holly:  Many.  Though I say the more you make, the quicker you improve.  I have had a couple not-so-graceful “flying” mounts and dismounts, while learning them barefoot, trying to save a few seconds.  I have got lost in transition, feeling like my bike evaporated.  I also rode the Olympic bike portion in the Sprint tri at San Diego Tri Classic in 2015.  I climbed well up the dreaded hill on the Navy Base, came down fast to the bike intersection between the Sprint and Olympic courses, was confused by the officials, and went the wrong way.  I knew almost immediately, and asked a Navy volunteer if I could turn around to head back to the finish, but he said “You’re already here, just go up again.”  I knew my chances at placing were done, so I had to kind of laugh and just keep going. My thoughts changed to “Hmm, I wonder how fast of a 5k can I do after an Olympic bike?”  And “I wonder how my bike split will compare to those in the Olympic race?”  Mistakes like that, we can beat ourselves up over, or use as lessons for future races.

Craig: You raced USA Triathlon National Championships in Milwaukee in 2015 and in Omaha in 2016.  What were your experiences like at Nationals?

Holly: Getting to Milwaukee in 2015 was a miracle itself.  My husband was deployed, and I didn’t have anyone else to watch our kids in San Diego.  So, I threw it out on Facebook, a month before the race, that I’d pay a friend to come with me and the kids.  A friend of a friend of a friend lived in Milwaukee, and offered to babysit for the race.  I learned the complexities of pushing a stroller, while pulling a bike case and bags through the airport, but got there.  The sitter was INCREDIBLE!  She entertained the kids while I anxiously bounced around prior to the start. Then she and the kids were smiling at every entrance and exit, cheering and taking pictures the entire race.  If you want to make a race-mom happy, that’ll do it!  The whole day was surreal, and turned into the best race of my life.

In 2016, I had a similar childcare dilemma, but my dad offered to watch the kids in Oregon.  So, we flew up there, I stayed a few days, then flew to Omaha.  Since some of our crazy Tri Club members race in the Olympic plus Sprint race there, I decided I should too.  During the Olympic race, my wave started at 10:18 AM, into 86º water, with a heat index rising over 100º from the humidity.  I felt like I could die of heat exhaustion on the run.  I fought so hard, the last mile I had tunnel vision, and felt like passing out, but really wanted to push for a World’s spot.  I couldn’t walk straight after crossing the finish line, but finished around the top 1/3.  I was literally dragged straight into the medical tent and covered in ice bags.  I’m not quite sure what all went on in there, as I came out a little confused, with 2 medals, about 5 wet towels, and no sunglasses?  I gave back the extra medal, but my cool TCSD Rudy Project raffle sunglasses never showed up.  I certainly had second thoughts about racing again the next day.

Day 2 was the sprint race.  I hurt, and had no idea what was possible, so just went out to do my best.  Crazy enough, the race felt SO much better than the day prior. It started earlier in the day, and of course shorter, with less heat.  I ended up qualifying for the 2017 ITU Draft-Legal Sprint World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  I am thrilled to go, and plan to bring my family to share this incredible experience.

Craig: I can’t wait to race with you in Rotterdam.  What athletic accomplishment are you the most proud of?

Holly: I would have to say, being the first-ever Women’s Oregon State Pole Vault Champion.  The year prior, I had asked our high school pole vault coach if I could try it, when no other girls did, and he surprisingly said “Yes!  It’s supposed to be an official event for women next year!”  That was huge news for Oregon, which is a big track state, so girls started vaulting everywhere.  I went 10′ that year, as “exhibition,” and qualified for the first ever women’s pole vault event at the adult USA Track and Field Nationals, along with 8 other Oregonians.  I tore my ACL at nationals, which was rather devastating, but had reconstructive surgery, and worked my butt off to compete again. The next season (1995), there were many girls fighting for the official state record, all hoping to be the first Oregon State Pole Vault Champion.  I got it with a vault of 11′!

Craig: Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Holly: My Mom.  She was a teacher, a huge proponent of math and sciences for women, a former track athlete, a good runner, a volunteer for many causes, and always very health and environmentally conscious.  She was always so supportive of my activities, not pushing me into, or away from any sport.  Even after I broke both arms pole vaulting, the week after that state meet, doctors told me I’d be done forever, but when I told her I didn’t want to give up, she supported me.  She taught me to be kind, avoid candy and sweets, eat my veggies, to reduce, reuse, recycle, and never leave a trace.  She passed away in 2006, after a 3 year battle with ALS.  She was training for a ½ marathon when diagnosed, and fought the most positive, courageous battle you could imagine.  There’s still no known cause or cure for ALS.  Though she is gone physically, I think of her every time I don’t “want” to do something, as it reminds me I “CAN.”  Thinking of her has carried me through my greatest achievements, and helped me raise my own children.  There are many disabled people in this world who would give anything to move.  Those of us who can, should take advantage of as many opportunities as we are able.

Craig: I’m sure a lot of people will want to contact you for your coaching services.  How can they contact you?

Holly:  Email works best:

Craig: What are your future triathlon goals?


-Place in top 10 at 2017 ITU Sprint World’s in Rotterdam.

-Qualify for and compete at World’s in some countries I haven’t seen.

-Compete in Xterra World Championships in Maui.

-Do well in a full AquaBike Worlds (since my knees object to marathon/Ironman).

-Win sprint or Olympic distance any year at World’s (even if that’s age 95 and I’m the only one competing).

Craig: Holly, thank you for sharing your story.  And thank you for all you do for the TCSD.  In my mind, you are already on the top step of the podium.  Good luck in Rotterdam and beyond!

Craig Zelent is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach.  Craig can be reached at 760-214-0055 or

Posted in 2017, TCSD Conversation, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TCSD Conversation: December 2016 – Tim Price

Tim Price and son Oliver at a TCSD Aquathlon

Tim Price and son Oliver at a TCSD Aquathlon


TCSD Conversation by Craig Zelent 

I had the pleasure recently of talking triathlon with Tim Price who has given his heart and soul to the TCSD. Tim is our newly elected TCSD Events and Program Director.  We are so lucky to have Tim as he has been a central figure in putting on our very successful club races over the last couple of years.    

Craig: What sports did you participate in while growing up?   

Tim: I was born just outside of Cleveland, OH, and grew up in Bethlehem, PA, so growing up I played a lot of pond hockey. That’s something you don’t see in Southern California. It was fun. Although I fell through the ice once, because I thought it was thicker than it was. I had to walk home, over a mile, wet and in the snow from the gristmill pond. In high-school I wrestled. I wouldn’t say I was the worst, but I wasn’t threatening to win any State Championships, either. My coaches liked me, so they always put me in when it was a forfeit. Padded the stats nicely. I played football in high-school, too. I like to say that I practiced football, because I only played in blowouts. We were the state champs in 1991; we won our medals, picture in the paper, free trip to Florida, but I didn’t play one down in the championship game. I also ran occasionally around the Lehigh University cross country course with a friend, but never for time.  

Craig: How did triathlon originally get woven into your fabric?   

Tim: I used to work seven miles from home, and my then fiancé and I only had one car, so after work I’d run home. I’d been running off and on for years. I had a few routes that I’d run when I lived in OB, and this was a nice way to get back into running. A coworker of mine suggested that rather than run home with a 20 lb. backpack on, it’d be easier if I just rode a bike. My oldest brother was into cycling and gave me his old busted up bike from a recent accident. After a while of cycling to work, the same co-worker commented that since I was already running and cycling, why not do a triathlon. So with no prior experience, I signed up for the 2008 Imperial Beach Sprint. 

Craig: What was your first triathlon like?   

Tim: The most interesting thing about my first tri is that I didn’t know how to swim. I used to swim to the buoy and back when I lived in OB, but I didn’t really know how to properly swim. Again this was the Imperial Beach Triathlon, sprint distance. 16:56 swim, 38:25 bike, 27:02 run. I was an impressive 412 overall, out of 522. I doggie-paddled a lot during that swim. I felt like I was going to drown. The bike felt fine, until a guy on a mountain bike and wearing board shorts passed me. I’d never run off the bike before, so that was the slowest 5K I’d ever run. I really didn’t understand why my legs weren’t working. I was such a beginner that when my then fiancé and I were scouting out the transition areas before the race, I was impressed by the people who brought buckets of water to rinse their feet in before the bike. I really thought I was learning something there. 

Craig: Now that you’ve been in the sport for a few years, what is your favorite distance and what has been your favorite destination race?  

Tim: The 70.3 is my favorite distance, because each segment is a good length for me. Even when I’m out by myself, these are the distances that fit me. I started with mud-run/bootcamp races, in Camp Pendleton and in MCRD, and transitioned to adventure races like the Tough Mudder and Spartan Races. I can carry logs and swim though ice-baths with the best of them. I’ve done a lot of running distances, 5K up to a marathon. My first marathon was the 2015 Two Cities Marathon in my wife’s hometown of Fresno, and there is a particular intersection that I will always remember fondly as the place where I sat in the street and threw-up. Finally, though, the 70.3 is where I’m most comfortable.  

I’ve done a 70.3 every year over the last five years, including Oceanside twice, as well as Chula Vista and Wildflower. Wildflower was gorgeous. I should probably say that Wildflower was my favorite, because the backside of nasty-grade was the fastest I’ve ever gone on a bike, and of course being Wildflower, I saw some boobies on the run course. My favorite destination race, however, is Silverman 70.3. It is the prettiest course I’ve seen, the best race course and the best ride. I was in Las Vegas last month, and redid the run course just because I liked it so much. I didn’t swim, because it was too damned cold. 

Craig: What are your favorite parts of a triathlon?  

Tim: My two favorite parts of any triathlon are the first 100 meters and the last 100 meters. The first 100 meters because it’s full contact and aggressive. It reminds me of my high school wrestling days. I’m not the fastest swimmer, but I always take the most aggressive line. The last 100 meters for, well, obvious reasons. I’m finally done. Onward to the beer tent. 

Craig: What athletic accomplishment are you most proud of?   

Tim: Probably the most impressive athletic accomplishment of mine is when a friend and I completed 600 burpees in an hour. My buddy owns a gym downtown and invited me to join him for this weekly one hour workout that he does with a group of retired navy seals. Earlier that week, another retired seal became a YouTube celebrity for doing 3,000 burpees in a row. So inspired by that nutcase, we all decided that we were going to do 10 burpees a minute for an hour. For those slower at math, that is 600 burpees in an hour. It was ridiculous. There were 30 of us, facing one another in a circle. No one cheated. You couldn’t. Another thing you couldn’t do was brush your teeth for a week afterward. It’s good that I keep my hair short, because I couldn’t have combed it, either.  

Craig: What are the best benefits of being a TCSD member?   

Tim: The consistency and number of weekly workouts we offer is definitely one of the best benefits. The coaching is outstanding. The JCC (now La Jolla High) technique workouts really helped me improve my swim. The track workouts, too. I’ve really gained speed there. Bill Gleason’s open water swim workout is by far my favorite coached workout that the club offers. Not only is he a good coach, and it a good workout, but it mimics race conditions and prepares you for the race. These race-simulation workouts eliminate pre-race jitters, because you’ve trained in the same environment as the race itself. Being able to eliminate the jitters is a big advantage over other non-TCSD members. 

Craig: How did you get involved as a volunteer for the TCSD?   

Tim: One night after a Friday night swim at the La Jolla Cove, a few of us went out to eat. Steve Banister was there, and I said for maybe the 3rd time that I am willing to help, or do whatever needed. Once he’d become club President, I’d really started to pay attention to the volunteers and a few of the more noticeable people on the board. They were making changes. Improving the club. It really encouraged me, and I wanted to give back to the club, too, for all that it gave me. Steve offered me the position of being John Hill’s assistant, and I have been Assistant Timer ever since. That was four years ago. At the end of 2015, Jim Johnson stepped down from Triathlon Director, and Jay Lewis asked me to step in. So then I became Triathlon Director as well as Assistant Timer. Now of course I’ve successfully campaigned for, and been elected to, the Board position of Events Director. I won by a landslide. It’s almost as if I was running unopposed. 

Now that I have everyone’s attention, this may be a good time to let everyone know that the positions of Assistant Timer and Triathlon Director are officially available to anyone interested. It wasn’t actually my goal to collect every position offered to me, but so far I haven’t let any of them go. 

Craig: You were recently elected to be the TCSD Events and Program Director.  What are your tasks in that role?  

Tim: My primary goals are to get more members to attend each event and to promote the club to prospective members. We are pulling permits for much larger groups than are actually attending each event, and it’s my own personal goal to fill the events to capacity. We can all agree that heavily attended events are much more fun and much more competitive. This year I plan on introducing new events to increase interest, and I plan on amping up the give-aways for those who attend the races, as well as for those who follow my email announcements in Yahoo! Groups. I’ve started hiring food trucks for events after it was brought to my attention that members were interested in mixing it up, and they’ve already created interest. 

I would really like to challenge every club member to bring a friend with you to the next couple of events you attend. Encourage them to come see what the club has to offer. Maybe I’ll find a give-away specifically for them, too. 

Of course those aren’t my official duties. If you were to ask the Board, my duties would include creating the calendar of upcoming events, obtaining permits and securing locations for those events, procuring caterers for after the races.  A lot of that kind of thing, which is never ending. I’m also still on Assistant Timer and Triathlon Director duty. But enough of that. Follow my emails, and bring a friend to your next event. We’ll be sure to make them feel welcome. 

Craig: What has been your reward as a volunteer for the TCSD over the years?  

Tim: It is a great feeling of accomplishment. You have that feeling of accomplishment after a race, and you have that same feeling after putting together an event. You always want to do your best for the people who attend events, you don’t volunteer hoping to do a mediocre job, but there are some days when you think it was just “okay” or that you goofed something. On those days when members go out of their way to thank you for what an outstanding job you did, it feels just as good as finishing a race. You had given them a really fun day, and that makes you feel just as good as winning your age group.  

Craig: Tim, you have done such a great job with everything you’ve touched with the TCSD.  I’d say you have won your age group every time!  What was the genesis of getting Kai to run for President?   

Tim: After Steve Banister left the Presidency, I lost that engaged feeling with the Board and the volunteers. I didn’t feel as connected with any part of the work that was being done, outside of what my own duties were. Honestly I don’t know what created this difference, but Kai and I would talk, and he felt the same way. 

Now Kai is an interesting guy. He doesn’t come across as outgoing at first, which puts him in a funny position because he’s the most well known guy in the club. He’s the most noticeable guy in the club, too. Although everyone he meets quickly learns where his interest lies. They can see and hear his love for the club and the sport.  Kai attends every event, and I think that kind of presence is really important to members. He lives and breathes triathlon and TCSD. I don’t think he’s even heard of football or baseball, but at this point it’s in our best interest to make sure he’s kept in the dark. After his family, the club has to be his first love. 

So Kai and I would talk. It was very easy to see that he cared about the club and that he wanted to see improvements. I can’t say that I was the first to think of the idea of him running for President; that no one had thought of it before, including Kai himself, but I really thought he’d do a good job. I thought that he’d put everything he had into it. So one day I told him to run. I mentioned it another time or two. One day I called Tim Kadel and asked what he thought of Kai running for President. I told him to put the bug in Kai’s ear about it, too.  

Then Kai turned around and did the same thing to me. Two hours before the deadline to apply for Board positions, he talked me into running for Events and Programs. I talked to Jay Lewis first, because he was the current Director, and I thought he was doing a good job. I wouldn’t have run against him. As it is, I got off easy because I ran unopposed. 

Craig: If you could waive a magic wand over the sport of triathlon, what would you like to change?   

Tim: I’d like to make more events accessible to more athletes. I know exclusivity is what attracts a lot of athletes to races like Kona and the Boston Marathon, but it’d be nice to find a way to include more athletes without taking away from that exclusivity. There are a lot of people who really love triathlon and who will never be able to race some of the more epic races or other World Championship events. Basically, everyone who becomes a triathlete gets the question from friends: “Have you ever done that one in Hawaii?” It would be nice if every triathlete could say yes to that.  

Craig: What are your future triathlon goals? 

Tim: I would like to run a sub 3 hour marathon and a sub 1.25 half marathon one day, as well as a sub 5 hour 70.3 and a full iron man. My wife would say more destination races. 

Craig: Tim, thank you for sharing your story.  You have brought a lot of happiness to our members over the years.  Good luck in tackling all your future goals.

Craig Zelent is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach.  Craig can be reached at 760-214-0055 or

Posted in 2016, Marathon, Running Race, TCSD Conversation, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TCSD Conversation: World Championships – November 2016

TCSD Members at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia. Top Row from left to right: Ray Stainbeck, Darcy Eaton, Laurie Kearney, Brian Makarowski, Craig Zelent, Randy Schmitz. Bottom Row from left to right: Wendy Schmitz, Diana Noble.

TCSD Members at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia. Top Row from left to right: Ray Stainbeck, Darcy Eaton, Laurie Kearney, Brian Makarowski, Craig Zelent, Randy Schmitz. Bottom Row from left to right: Wendy Schmitz, Diana Noble.


TCSD Conversation by Craig Zelent

I had the pleasure recently of chatting with some of the TCSD members who raced in a variety of World Championship events during 2016.  These include the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia, the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, the ITU Duathlon World Championships in Aviles, Spain and the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico.  I asked them 3 questions and I thought you’d enjoy the answers of our elite members.


Andy Sweet: Ironman.  M55-59.  88th place.

Craig Zelent: 1) Ironman 70.3.  M50-54.  85th place.  2) ITU Standard Distance Triathlon.  M50-54.  17th place.

Dawn Prebula – Ironman.  F40-44.  98th place.

Diana Noble: Ironman 70.3.  F50-54.  25th place.

Donn Ritchie: Ironman. M65-69. 5th place.

Elaine Gower – Ironman. F55-59.  51st place.

Jeff Krebs: Ironman. M55-59.  90th place.

Julie Dunkle: Ironman.  W50-54. 19th place.

Lisa Ryan – Ironman 70.3.  F35-39.  105th place.

Niels Vande Casteele – Ironman.  M30-34.  50th place.

Randy Schmitz: Ironman 70.3.  M55-59.  98th place.

Scott Endsley: 1) ITU Sprint Distance Duathlon.  M60-64.  36th place.  2) ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon.  M60-64.  30th place.

Tim Stutzer: Ironman.  M40-44.  186th place.


Craig: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to qualify for your World Championship race?

Andy: The only obstacle that I encountered in trying to qualify for Kona was that in the summer of 2014 I crashed my bike and broke my collarbone. I had to have surgery, and didn’t race an Ironman that year. I was signed up for Tahoe, and that year the race was canceled, so it was a good race to miss! I signed up again for Tahoe in 2015 and had a great race there, especially on the run when I passed 16 people in my AG to finish 2nd.

Craig: For the 70.3 Worlds, it was convincing my wife that it would be a good idea for me to race the 2015 Superfrog 1 week after racing ITU Sprint and Olympic Distance Worlds in Chicago.  I was really tired going into Superfrog, but I rallied on race day and earned the slot.  And for Tri Worlds Cozumel, it was needing to have an excellent race at 2015 Nationals and delivering the goods when it really mattered.  I remember badly jamming my finger on some guy’s head during the swim warm up 5 before the race started at Nationals.  Adrenaline took over when the gun sounded and I was fine.  But that finger still lacks flexibility 15 months later.  I wonder how that guy’s head is doing?

Dawn: This is an interesting question. To give a little background I only completed my first real triathlon in March 2015, first with the Olympic Desert Tri as a training race and then Oceanside 70.3. To back up a little more, I moved to San Diego in June 2014 and thought “This is the perfect place to train for triathlons,” immediately signed up for Oceanside and THEN bought a road bike off of craigslist. I downloaded a plan from the Internet and was off. I am not sure when I heard about Tri Club San Diego, but it was after completing Oceanside I joined. I couldn’t believe all the things I’d been missing out on from training events to meeting awesome Tri people! I’d also already signed up for Superfrog in September of 2015 before finishing Oceanside since it was another local longer distance race. I had read about the additional spots for military members qualifying for Kona, but never imagined I’d be one of those people. As fate would have it, being a 40 year old military female was in my favor that day. Please let me mention I am completely grateful for the opportunity. It isn’t lost on me others have worked for years and participated in many races or raised tens of thousands of dollars for the same chance. I still am humbled by the opportunity.

Diana: My biggest obstacle was my hamstring injury.  I had a slight tear which was only diagnosed after the race.  I was happy I was able to qualify with a role down spot at Superseal 70.3.

Donn: Qualifying for the World Championships is never an easy endeavor. In my age group, I know I have to place first at a qualifying race because we are never allocated more than one slot. After racing for 15 years, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get mentally and physically ready for two ‘A’ races in one year, so my recent strategy has been to race in Kona, and then 5 or 6 weeks later, try to qualify at the Arizona IM race. My hope is that the build-up for Kona will give me enough strength and endurance to compete well in Tempe. For the past few years that strategy has worked, as I’ve been able to qualify in November, then take 7 months off before starting the next long build for Kona.

Elaine: Since I got in on the Legacy Program I had to complete 12 IM branded races, 2 of the races in consecutive years.  Lake Tahoe would have been my 12th IM to qualify me for the Legacy Program.  Unfortunately, I DNF’d on mile 19 of the run.  So, I had to go back to do 2 more IM races – I did IM Boulder in 2014 and IM AZ in 2015.  I raced IMAZ in that terrible cold and rain with the flu and barely made it to the finish line but I was determined to finish.

Jeff: I had a charity slot with Smile Train.  The fundraising requirement was $50,000.  I ended up raising about $58,000.  Fundraising that much is no easy feat. I was very grateful for all of the support I received from family and friends who went on the “journey” to Kona with me.  Together we raised almost $58,000!  Smile Train provides surgery for children born with cleft palate and cleft lip.  Surgery costs $250 and takes only 45 minutes.  The money I raised will fund 232 surgeries.  That’s a lot of new smiles brought into our world!

Julie: Fractured metatarsal in November pushed my season back quite a bit, while it was mostly healed when I raced Oceanside and St. George I had a set back and had to dial back the running.  The plan was to qualify at IM Canada but I came up short, as in 2 minutes short and was fired up and looking for redemption. So I toed the line 4 weeks later at IM Coeur d’Alene and took the win in my age group for the Kona slot.   The challenge at 50 (ugh that is old) is making it to the start line healthy. I find that is 50% of the equation at this point.

Lisa: The biggest obstacle was deciding if I wanted to race my first half IM and then hoping for a huge roll down.

Niels – Four months before the race, I was taken out by a car while biking and suffered a medial condyle femoral fracture, among other things. Although the accident set me back quite a bit and the recovery process was tedious, it’s the passion for the sport and the hunger for endurance that drove me to never give up or kick back and relax. It’s not about how many times you fall.  It’s about how fast you can get up again.

Randy: Like most age groupers, my biggest obstacle was trying to step up my training to a higher level while maintaining a full time job and a balanced family life.  Sleep is another story.

Scott: It was very uplifting to know that I could still run, without knee pain post replacement.  See these two short you tube videos if you have any joint issues.

I was extremely pleased that only 5 months post knee replacement I was able to race against the best amateurs in the world.

Tim: An ever worsening knee (cartilage damage after two surgeries), increased work volume and decreasing motivation. Still the love for the bike kept me going and Ironman Wales did the rest. Go there. It’s a beast to be conquered! Well worth travel and expenses.



Craig: What was the best part of your World Championship experience?

Andy: The high point of the race was half way through the swim when I could tell I was swimming fast, the water felt warm and it was beautiful underwater and above. Overall, I enjoyed how international the event was–being there and hearing so many languages being spoken all over brought that element home more than I understood beforehand. My daughter and her fiancé from Brazil joined my wife and granddaughter in Kona cheering me on; it was wonderful to have great family support.

Craig: For the 70.3 Worlds we had one of our best vacations ever in Australia.  1 week before the 70.3 Worlds we visited Kangaroo Island (KI).  My wife, Laurie, placed 3rd overall woman in the KI Marathon and I was the overall winner of the KI Half Marathon.  We went on to enjoy visits to Adelaide, Brisbane and Mooloolaba was awesome for the 70.3 race venue. Laurie was not able to join me for the trip to Cozumel, but Scott Endsley and I shared a condo.  We had a great trip.  Scott was my hero as he fetched me tons of free food at the Team USA hotel.

Dawn: All of it, but especially having my husband, family, friends and three kiddos there to watch me cross the finish line.

Diana: The best part to be part of the experience was traveling to Australia.  The last time I was in Australia was 1989.  We were able to meet up with my aunt, uncle and cousin in Sydney.  Another highlight was being able to visit the koalas and kangaroos with you and Laurie!  I loved competing in an international event with such a high caliber of racing.

Donn: With the practice swims at Dig Me beach, the athlete’s village with the vendors and seminars, and the daily increase in the community’s energy as we all head towards the Saturday race, the entire week before the race is always exciting. But actually crossing the finish line has to be the best experience for me. Kona isn’t where you’ll get a PR, but the feeling of relief and satisfaction at crossing the finish line washes over you like at no other race.

Elaine: The best part or one of the best parts of my WC experience was the week building up to the race.  Meeting so many new people and seeing my friends who were racing, the expo, the underpants run and in general the whole week was great.  The other part of the experience was the actual race, the start just seemed surreal – here I was racing in the World Championship in Kona.  Wow, it was hot, windy and humid and with some electrolyte issues I was basically just getting it done on the bike.  The run was the best because people were everywhere, cheering, high-fiving you and just the whole atmosphere was great (well it was desolate on the highway and energy lab).  Crossing the finish line was the absolutely best part of the day – after struggling through the run due to injuries and just plain old fatigue – but when I came down the finishers shoot everything went away (well besides my limp) on the run – having Mike Reilly call my name on my 15th IM and WC was the finale.

Jeff: My entire Kona experience was amazing.  It is said that it is the journey that matters and I truly believe this. I had a fantastic coach who worked me hard during the year but got me to the start line healthy, fit and ready to race. I had the love and support of family and friends who encouraged me even when the training was difficult. Knowing that, by raising money for Smile Train, I was making the world a better place always kept me focused and gave me purpose. Race day was absolutely magical. I savored every moment of the course.  It was one of the top 5 best days in my life!

Julie: Simple!  The final 100 yards down Ali’i Drive on the red carpet, running towards the massive finish line and the voice of Ironman.  That elation erases the hours of suffering that the Big Island serves up.   And it’s the week in Kona, it is sheer bliss.  Seeing friends from all over the US, rubbing shoulders with the best in this sport and experiencing a magical place.

Lisa: I got to do the race pregnant.

Niels – Floating in the water, at the start line, mindful of the pain I endured during the recovery process and that I fought hard mentally and physically to get here. Even before the cannon went off, I already had the best possible feeling a guy could have. Bring it on!

Randy: The best part of my World Championship experience was the opportunity to go to Australia and represent my country and the best triathlon club in the world, TCSD!

Scott: My run was still slow for me, but I was able to run with no knee pain, and with the uplifting belief that I may be able to run freely, and faster, and train the run for next years’ races.  It’s nice to be still in the game, after two knee replacements.

Tim: I qualified for Kona 2016 at Ironman Wales 2015 and already had experienced knee issues again even after two surgeries. The doc then told me that if I wanted to avoid knee replacement before 50 I should quit running. Still I did keep the slot for Kona and did the race as my goodbye to the sport of triathlon. I could not have made a better choice to close the triathlon chapter for me right where the sport was born. I enjoyed every minute of the race – once I had decided not to care about the blatant drafting this race has going on these days, that is. I smiled all through the marathon and even had the privilege to run the last 10 miles together with a teammate. What more can one ask for? Nothing.

Kona No. 5 in the books, Ironman chapter closed. On to life!



Craig: Who has been the most influential person in your success as a triathlete?

Andy: I’d like to mention several key influential people: Jodi Hayes, Laura Sasaki, and Mike Burrows first encouraged me to try triathlons, were great cheerleaders and friendly training partners. Mike Plumb provided helpful coaching and workouts and key bits of advice at crucial times in training and races. Gino Cinco and the ART people in Kona were indispensable in getting my knee and legs to function. My wife Wendy was amazingly supportive throughout the past several years of Ironman training and especially with my “special needs” this year. Thanks!

Craig: 2016 was my 31st year racing triathlons and I am now approaching 300 career triathlons.  Mental and physical burn out is a real issue, but my wife Laurie inspires me every day with her motivation to train.  She loves exercise.  She is up to 235 career marathon finishes.  I can’t compete with that.  But I watch her get out there every day and that really motivates me to do the same.

Dawn: Even though my husband isn’t stationed here, he pretty much came home every weekend to watch the kids in order for me to train. Even still, I spent a small fortune on babysitters a couple times a week over the course of a year!  I would also say going to events like Masters swim in La Jolla, track with Holly and Bill & the open water workouts at Ventura Cove, and Saturday Starbuck rides were a huge part of my training success & meeting new friends that helped me get to the finish line. Like I’ve said before, there is an “I” in Ironman, but it would be really tough to make happen without the support of your team!

Diana: The most influential people in my triathlon career are my neighbor Kevin Schneider who I admired for training so hard for an ironman and eventually I decided that if she could do it then maybe I could too.  Cris Huxley at the YMCA Encinitas Masters program who encouraged me to keep coming to Masters practice and eventually to be able to complete ironman swim leg.  You and TCSD – Craig, I attended one of your networking dinners. After the dinner I knew triathlon was for me and I met so many people to train with and learn from.

Donn: I can think of a lot of people who have helped me along the way, from my YMCA coaches as a youngster to the authors I’ve read as I self-coach at this stage of my life. But it’s the support of my wife, who overlooks my emotional swings during the season, helps structure nutritional meals, who massages my sore muscles, who has to be the most influential person in my success.

Elaine: Well this is kinda hard to answer but I would have to say my husband Tony and then my coach Mike Plumb and a plethora of triathlete friends.  My husband was good at telling me when I didn’t want to do a workout to go and just do some of it and then I would end up doing all of it.  My coach for his knowledge and working so hard to make sure my schedule fit into my life schedule.  I would also have to say since I have been doing triathlon for over 15 years that my first coach, Gurujan Dourson influenced me the most with his knowledge and drive for the sport.  I’ve had so many people I could name but you know who you are I don’t want to forget anyone.

Jeff: The most influential person in my success as a triathlete has to be my spouse, Fritz. He allows me the freedom to train and race as I wish and never once complains. We all know how much time training for an Ironman race takes away from our family and friends. He has taken on the role of IronSherpa with great pride and accompanies me to every single race to make sure that I stay on schedule and never forget my race-day necessities. Without him, I would not be able to do what I do as a triathlete.

Julie: My first real coach, Kevin Purcell.  He believed in me and got me to Kona the first 3 times.  He taught me so much about racing, power meters, pacing, nutrition, patience and eventually all I know about coaching. He was not only my coach for 4 years but a mentor as I began coaching 5 years ago.  He is an ambassador of this sport and always willing to help, share his knowledge and pay it forward.   And my husband, he is my #1 fan, is willing and eager to go to all these races, be the Sherpa extraordinaire and believe in me and continue to support this crazy lifestyle.

Lisa: Randy Schmitz has been most influential because he talked me into signing up for Ironman Arizona a few years ago, which started this great adventure.

Niels – It’s thanks to the support from my family, coach and friends that I made it to Hawaii, only four months after the accident. My wife Djohara played an enormous role in this as she took care of me and kept supporting my goals and ambitions. It’s also thanks to my coach, Scott DeFilippis, who carefully looked after me and gave me things to do and ways to train even when I was immobile or in pain. A 9:40:58 time on the Ironman World Championship was beyond my imagination. Big thank you to the DES crew and my friends from the RIDE Tri Team that supported me throughout the season. Mahalo!

Randy: The most influential person in my success and in my life is my wife, Wendy. She supports me and motivates me when the going gets tough and without her blessing, I would not have achieved this lofty goal!

Scott: The pleasure in racing and training well, consistently, hard, and pleasurably would not be something I could achieve without my long time workout partner and inspiration Chuck Macdonald.

Tim: I’ll have to name my dad first. He got me into the sport some 33 years ago on a cold September day in Cologne, Germany 1984. First triathlon at age 10. That sets the stage, does it not? The potential I had at the sport was opened up by my first coach Andreas when I was 10 who almost instantly raised the bar of my tri game by at least 10 notches. Also my family kept supporting me all through the 10 year process.  The prospect of a family holiday in Hawaii kept them motivated, I guess.  

Craig Zelent is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach.  Craig can be reached at 760-214-0055 or

Posted in 2016, TCSD Conversation, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bonfield Express 5K

My family just a few minutes before the race start.

My family just a few minutes before the race start.

My Mom and I celebrate the Cubs World Series win.

My Mom and I celebrate the Cubs World Series win.


On Thanksgiving Day I ran the 13th Annual Bonfield Express 5K in Downers Grove, IL.  The race is held in honor of Jim Bonfield who passed away in 2003 after complications of Hodgkin’s Disease, Leukemia and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Jim was a teacher, coach and dean of students for more than three decades at Downers Grove South High School. The proceeds from the race benefit local high school students.

It was about 30-35 degrees and typical of the Chicago area at this time of year.  But it was cold for me.  I dressed well for my upper body, but made the mistake of just wearing running shorts.  I felt great until just after mile 2 when my right hamstring cramped up.  Thankfully the cramp did not stop me dead in my tracks.  It just caused me to slow down.  I cruised in to the finish line with a time of 19:36.  I still managed to win the men’s 50-59 age group by 20 seconds.  Most people walk this race so the results are a bit deceiving.  I was 1st out of 402 men in my age group and 87th overall out of 5,229 finishers. 

The event was a lot of fun for me because I was joined by 8 other family members.  And best of all I was able to spend the 4 day Thanksgiving holiday with my 95 year old Mom.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!

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LA Tri Series Legends Triathlon

1st place never gets old...even for an old guy!

1st place never gets old…even for an old guy!

On October 9th I raced the LA Tri Series Legends Triathlon in San Dimas at Bonelli Park.  This race will probably be my last triathlon in 2016 so I wanted to finish the season on a positive note.  The race started at 8am so conditions were comfortable at the start, but it did heat up to the high 80’s by the time I finished.

The 1.5K (0.93 miles) swim was in fresh water.  The biggest challenge was going to be the glare from the sun.  The course was a simple counter clockwise oval so it was easy to stay on track.  I had a good swim as I came out the water in 2nd place with a time of 25:18.

The 40K (24.8 miles) bike course was comprised of 3 hilly laps.  I’ve raced on this course a few times over the years and this bike course is always challenging.  I did manage the best bike split of 1:19:38 (18.7 mph) and that moved me up to 1st place, but only by 20 seconds.

The 10K (6.2 miles) run offers a little bit of everything – trails, asphalt, ups and downs.  I had the fastest run split with a time of 41:36 (6:41/mile) to give me a victory by 8+ minutes over 2nd place.  I placed 1st out of 13 men 50-54 and 5th out of 130 overall finishers with a time of 2:29:58.

The race organizers also offered a sprint race called The Express that was about one third the distance of my race.  The Express had 104 finishers.  It is a family run business that puts on a series of races throughout the year.  They do a great job and it gives me great pleasure to support their events.

To see my race photos, click on this link

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!

Posted in 2016, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TCSD Conversation: Richard Duquette – October 2016

Richard Duquette and his wife, Kim

Richard Duquette and his wife, Kim

TCSD Conversation by Craig Zelent                                 

I had the pleasure recently of talking to Richard Duquette, Bicycle attorney, triathlete and longtime sponsor, member and supporter of the Triathlon Club of San Diego.  The TCSD and our local community are both really lucky to have Richard on our team.  Just as I did; I know you will enjoy getting to know Richard.

Richard: Thanks for having me Craig.

Craig: Who was the most influential person in your life?

Richard: The most influential person in my life was my Grandfather, Thomas Woodhull. He was a city bus driver in Detroit, Michigan for over 20 years. He was consistent, hardworking and a loyal husband, until he died of throat cancer.

He impressed upon his grandkids to treat everyone equal and with respect. He exemplified this on his bus route through the murder capital of the world, the inner city of Detroit, even during the 1968 riots.

He was admired by his regular riders and the City of Detroit, where he ultimately received an award from the Mayor of Detroit for great public service, and no accidents. That was quite impressive to me, as he serviced many different people from all walks of life, and even drove in the snow. He’d bend the rules once in a while if it was the right thing to do, like stopping the bus between routes and giving his two grandkids a free ride home from grade school. He would also sort through (and replace) old coins found in the bus fare change machine, looking for old buffalo nickels, liberty dimes and Indian head pennies. We built a coin collection together.

He also taught me to play baseball and took me to Detroit Tigers baseball games. He was a big sports fan. Most importantly, he bribed me with $500 to return from Kauai, Hawaii to go to college, instead of living in the wild and surfing.

Craig: Who is your hero?

Richard: That’s easy, my wife of 23 years Kim Duquette. I married up. She’s smarter than 99% of the lawyers out there, has common sense and is a big supporter. She’s also our law firm office manager. She’s the best thing that’s happened to me and she’s cute too!

Craig: Besides triathlon, where do you volunteer your time?

Richard: I volunteer my time helping injured bicyclists and triathletes, including many TCSD members you never hear about due to confidentiality. I’ve been doing this for many years.

Seeing me assisting TCSD members behind the scene, and being a long term sponsor, past TCSD president Jim McCann (deceased) gifted me a Life membership to TCSD.  He grew TCSD into what it is today.  I admired Jim for his ability to include and recruit others and diplomatically silence meeting hecklers by cleverly inviting them to “chair that committee”. He was a cool guy and I miss him.

Lately, I have been spending about sixteen hours or more a month in meetings and discussing with other local political leaders the subjects of more open space, parks, safe bicycle infrastructure (like bike lanes and paths), and access to public facilities. The emphasis of these discussions is improving community safety and healthy lifestyles.

I’ve been empowered to do so because I was recently ballot elected as a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee by over 13,000 votes in Assembly District 76 (Oceanside to Encinitas), in big part by those of you all who live and play here. Thanks for your vote!  

Craig: What athletic accomplishments are you the proudest of?

Richard: Lately, it was finishing the Carson City, Nevada 35/50-mile mountain bike race at altitude. It took me all day. We started at 5k elevation then rode twenty-two miles uphill (at times a twelve percent grade) off-road to eighty-six hundred feet to the Tahoe rim trail overlooking Lake Tahoe and Markel Lake in one view. Then a short ride through a snow field and down single track trails through the forest onto fire roads for thirteen miles. I really earned the finishers “silver rail road spike”!

Previously it was a thrill to twice (1976 & 1989) ride Baja California to Cabo San Lucas from Tijuana on one trip and Tecate the other. It took 12 days to ride (with panniers) over 1,100 miles. I camped in the desert under the stars and in some adventurous places, with a night in a motel in Mulege on the gulf side. People warned I’d be robbed, but it turned out to be a wonderful adventure. Of course, I’m also happy to have twice completed Ironman races, Hawaii & New Zealand.

Craig: Name two memorable race day experiences?

Richard: Back in the early eighty’s, I decided on a whim to race the Whiskey Creek Stage bicycle race in Mammoth, California. Day one (of three) was a time trial mountain climb from Bishop at 4,200 feet to Mammoth at 7,600 feet. I experimented in carrying only one water bottle and banana. I figured I had hydrated well enough the day before to do the 42-mile race. Luckily, I finished and completed the next two days. Lesson learned, watch the pros!

The second memorable event was at the Hawaii Ironman finish line. By way of background, I had trained for a year, visualizing finishing and receiving the medal, in honor of my Grandfather who had died the year before of cancer. When I crossed the line, the lovely female volunteer said with a smile, while looking a little concerned for me, “Can I get you anything?” Little did she know, I was so focused on the medal that I politely smiled and said in an endorphin trance, “Yes Ma’am, can I have my medal.” It’s amazing all the reasons people do Ironman races, many times we never know their motivation. I think Wide World of Sports did a good job handpicking unique human interest stories each year during the show.

Craig: What are some of your favorite destination races?

Richard: The “Beauty and the Beast” in St Croix US Virgin Islands.  It had a steep hill twice as long as the climb from the Wildflower bike transition area. They had a prime for the fastest hill climber. It was a beast for sure. Of course there’s also the Hawaii Ironman race. Kona is lovely, and the smell of Plumeria blossoms are heavenly. But I also really like the festival or grassroots races like Wildflower. I did the Wildflower Long Course in 1989 and then the Sprint in 2016. Lots of mixing with people pre and post-race. It’s just a fun event.

Craig: If you could waive a magic wand over the sport, what would you like to change? 

Richard: If I could wave my magic wand I’d like to see more local races like the Carlsbad Triathlon which I do every year, along with the Oceanside one-mile pier swim. Reducing prices would be another wish.  Local sprint races feed the longer ones.

Craig: Can you identify any legal advice you would give a triathlete or bicyclist?

Richard: You need strong insurance coverage (500k Under/Uninsured motorist coverage with a 2 million umbrella UM/UIM limit policy) on your car, because it will likely cover you if hit on your bicycle. It’s a bit counter intuitive, but car insurance covers you on a bike. I see many badly injured bicyclists who are without a deep pocket to pay for damages beyond medical bills. This would include, lost income, permanent disability, and a change in lifestyle. So, I did something about it and wrote specific articles on these subjects, which can be found on my blog What I’m particularly proud of is that my blog self-help articles are now enhanced by podcast episodes that can be listened to when you’re getting ready for work, having coffee, or on a car ride. I have a specific podcast web page on my website or you can subscribe to my podcasts on iTunes.  It’s called “Bicycling and the Law –”.  These self-help articles and podcast episodes help the “little guy” get a fair shake.  I’m an advocate for the average citizen and my work defines me.

Craig: What are your future goals in sport?

Richard: Well, I just turned 60 and want to stay consistent.  As Bob Babbitt wisely pointed out, “Triathlon is the fountain of youth”.  I agree with him 100%. Health is the key to a meaningful life. With it, you can contribute so much more to society. I want to help others who have an interest in triathlons and bicycling.

One day I’d like to podium. I’ll probably have to wait until I’m in my 80s, as my age group competitors keep getting faster.  I’ll most likely have to win by attrition!

I’m also seeing a change in the sport of triathlon. In the 1980s, for instance, bladed spokes were big, now its carbon wheels and bikes. In the old days, the bike gear shifters were on the downtube, now they are on the ends of your handlebars. We’ve gone from chewy Power Bars, to gels like Gu and Cliff natural squeezes. I’m looking forward to what the future has in store!

Craig: Richard, you have made a huge difference in the lives of not only your clients, but also people you have never even met.  I think it is terrific the work you have done in the fight for more open space and improved bike infrastructure.  Thank you for all you have done.  We are lucky to have you as our advocate.

Craig Zelent is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach.  Craig can be reached at 760-214-0055 or

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Ironman 70.3 Superfrog

Overhead view of surf from Imperial Beach pier

Overhead view of surf from Imperial Beach pier

Ground level view of 4-6 foot surf

Ground level view of 4-6 foot surf

56 mile bike course

56 mile bike course

13.1 mile run featuring 2 miles of soft sand

13.1 mile run featuring 2 miles of soft sand

On September 25th I raced Ironman 70.3 Superfrog.  This was the 38th consecutive year this race has been held and the 6th time I have done the race.  But this was the 1st year that it was hosted by Imperial Beach.  Coronado had been a great host for many years, but this was so much better in Imperial Beach.  I think Superfrog has found a new home for many years.

The original purpose of Superfrog was two-fold. The first was to prepare the SEALs to race Ironman Hawaii. The second was to promote the sport of triathlon in the SEAL teams where competitive spirit is extremely high. Something every athlete and spectator must notice at Superfrog is how the race honors the SEALs who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The fencing that borders the transition area has signage that pays homage to each individual SEAL who died in the act of duty.

I was racing to support this great local race, but to also try and win a slot to the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.  The 1.2 mile swim was 2 laps in the ocean all on the right side of the Imperial Beach pier.  The course would be 400 meters out, turn right for 200 meters, and then turn right again for 400 meters back to the beach.  We would run 150 meters on the beach and dive back in again for lap 2.  The current was very strong moving left to right and the surf was pretty big – 4-6 foot waves.  Lap 1 for me was a bit scary.  I did get tumbled 3 times by big waves and held under water.  I have been in more frightening surf, but this was a major challenge.  Somehow I made it thru the surf and had an excellent 1st lap in 14:42. 

Lap 2 was another story.  I made the mistake of starting too far to the right so I did not have the benefit of the pier deflecting some of the energy from the surf or more importantly the really strong current.  I was being swept from left to right and could not make any forward progress.  I recognized that I was in a rip current and that this was not going to work.  I actually decided to swim back to shore and start again, except I’d start right next to the pier.  I would estimate that my failed attempts to start lap 2 cost me 4+ minutes, but it was the right move.  I finally completed lap 2 in 18:37 for a swim split of 33:20, putting me in 20th place.  A bit frustrating, but I was alive! 

I did hear after the race that some people were not able to complete the swim and had to abandon the race.  There were some 1st time ocean swimmers in the race so I’m not surprised.  I felt really bad for them, but I did not hear of any injuries.  The lifeguards and water safety crew were excellent. 

The 56 mile bike was 4 laps of 14 miles each along The Strand.  It was pancake flat and the wind was pretty mild most of the time.  I had the 14th best bike split of 2:43:26 (20.5 mph) and that moved me up to 16th place.  I was very happy with this as usually I lose ground on the bike, but the very best cyclists really did get away from me and I was never going to catch them. 

The 13.1 mile run was 4 laps of just under 3.3 miles each.  The run course the last couple of years has been pretty easy, but 2016 was back to the legendary Superfrog with long stretches thru the deep sand.  I would estimate that we had to run about 2 miles in the deep sand.  On my 4th lap there was a very attractive young woman in the deep sand section spectating in a bikini.  She actually urged me on saying that “it’s hard just ahead.”  I bet it is!  She was a great distraction, but where was she during my 1st 3 laps?  I went on to have the 3rd best run split of 1:39:07 (7:33/mile) to finish in 5:00:46.  I placed 7th out of 53 men in the 50-54 age group and 85th out of 630 overall finishers. 

I really had a great race.  I was actually 34 seconds faster than 2015, despite the more difficult swim and run courses.  There were 4 slots in my age group for the 2017 IM 70.3 World Championships and they were claimed by the top 4 guys.  The 6th place guy finished 6 minutes ahead of me so my problems during the swim didn’t cost me.  I ran up against a stacked field – the 2nd and 11th ranked guys in the world raced Superfrog and 3 of the guys who beat me came from out of state.  Uggh!  I was a bit disappointed, but I know I will have a better chance to qualify next year when I can race in the 55-59 age group as the young guy.  I can still achieve my goal.  I have found it is more rewarding when the journey has some bumps in the road.

To see my race photos, click on this link:

Living the life…

Posted in 2016, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ITU Olympic Distance World Championships (Grand Final) – Cozumel, Mexico

Craig with Team USA staff Tim Yount, Meg Weagley and Lauren Rios

Craig with Team USA staff Tim Yount, Meg Weagley and Lauren Rios

On September 18th I raced the ITU Olympic Distance World Championships (Grand Final) in Cozumel, Mexico.  This race was the 23rd time I have represented Team USA at a World Championship and my 12th time in the Olympic Distance.  Way back in 2002 I had raced Worlds in Cancun and I placed 17th in my age group.  That gave me some experience racing in the heat and humidity of the Mexican Riviera.

Because the water temperature was so warm, wet suits were not allowed for the swim.  It was so hot that I waited until the last moment to put my swim cap on.  I was going to do everything possible to stay cool and hydrated.  The swim was supposed to be 1.5K, but because of a strong current the race organizers shortened it to 1.25K (just over 0.75 mile).  The swim was beautiful as we could see lots of fish in the crystal clear water.  I swam conservatively and came out of the water in 41st place with a split of 24:09.

The 40K (24.8 miles) bike course was pancake flat on an easy out and back route mostly along the water.  I had ridden much of the course 2 days prior and so I knew it would be fast.  I carried 40 ounces of PowerBar Perform for the ride and I drank every drop.  It was a no brainer for me to carry as many fluids as possible since there would be no bottle exchange on the bike.  I was pleasantly surprised that I did not see much drafting even with the flat course.  The bike is my weakness, but I had an outstanding bike for me as I had the 39th best split with a time of 1:05:15 (22.9 mph) to move into 38th place.  3 guys actually biked the course in less than 1 hour.

The 10K (6.2 miles) run course was comprised of 2 pancake flat 5K loops.  My strength is the run and typically I want the run to be as hard as possible and as long as possible, but even at the 2K point I was begging for mercy.  It was so hot and humid!  Usually in a race of this length I will blow thru the run aid stations and only take in a gulp of water, but I was cooking like an egg out there.  I actually stopped at the next aid station and guzzled 3 cups of water and put some ice in the front and back of my race kit and my hat.  I still could not wait for this race to end, but that had revived me and I continued to run pretty well.

Before the race began I was aware that the women age 45-49 would start 3 minutes after my age group.  That group was going to include Adrienne Leblanc who is our National Champion in that age group and the clear cut favorite to win this race.  Adrienne is so fast that she passed me during the swim and extended her lead over me during the bike.  I figured I might be able to run her down, but I never imagined it would play out the way it did.  By the time I got to the 2nd lap of the run I knew I would finish.  When I got to the 8K point I saw Adrienne flat on her stomach in the grass.  She had completely collapsed.  I thought I saw her legs moving a little bit so I hoped she would rally.  I also saw an older gentleman trying to tend to her.  I figured she’d be fine.  I had a race to finish. 

I pushed on.  With about 100 meters to go I sprinted past a fellow American, Clint Dowd.  I should have been more patient as Clint had enough time to answer as he pipped me at the very end.  We finished with the same overall time of 2:16:25, but he was 16th and I was 17th (just like in 2002) out of 78 men in the 50-54 age group.   I was so glad to be done, but I wish I had that final 100 meters to do over again.  At any rate, I finished the run with a split of 42:19 which was 3rd best on the day.

A few hours after the race I looked up the online results.  I saw that Adrienne had a DNF (did not finish) by her name.  Uh oh!  I could not believe this.  She was only a mile from the finish line!  I later learned that she had been hospitalized, but thankfully had been released from the hospital.  The next day I bumped into Adrienne and her family at the airport.  She was in great spirits which was a huge relief to me.  The older gentleman on the race course was her father-in-law.  He remembered me running by and encouraging her to get up.  She had been leading her age group by 6 minutes when the lights went out.  She woke up a few hours later in the hospital and actually thought she had crashed on the bike.  Thankfully she will be just fine.

Any fan of triathlon will want to see this video of the last 2 minutes of the men’s elite race featuring the Brownlee brothers from Great Britain.  Turn up your volume.  I have never seen anything like this in 30+ years of racing.  It makes me so proud to be part of this sport.

And to see my race photos, click on this link

Living the life…

Posted in 2016, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ironman 70.3 World Championships – Mooloolaba, Australia

View of transition area from our 8th floor condo.

View of transition area from our 8th floor condo.

Craig on the run!

Craig on the run!

On September 4th I raced the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia.  We had a gorgeous day to race – temperatures in the mid to high 70’s, clear skies and a light breeze.  I had a race to be proud of as I placed 85th out of 177 men in the 50-54 age group and 1,375th overall out of 2,577 finishers. 

The 1.2 mile swim was an in water start in the Coral Sea.  The water was calm and warm, but we were allowed to wear wet suits.  I had a great 30:03 swim split putting me in 53rd place.

The 56 mile bike course went from the coast to the hinterlands and back.  It was relatively flat and easy for the first 30 miles.  That changed in a big way at mile 33.  At that point I faced the steepest section of road I have ever ridden on a bike.  It was short, probably only ¼ mile, but brutal.  I saw 2 people walking their bikes up that climb.  It was that steep!  And this was a world class field.  Everyone in the race had earned a qualifying slot.  The final 20 miles had some rolling hills and mild head winds.  I really struggled after mile 50 as that steep climb knocked the stuffing out of me.  The bike course had just over 2,200 feet of elevation gain.  My split was 2:55:33 (19.1 mph), the 134th best bike split.  Not so good, but I did the best I could.  It dropped me down to 124th place.

The 13.1 mile (21K) run was comprised of 2 loops of 10K.  Right out of the gate I saw a spectator holding a sign that seemed meant for me – “Humpty Dumpty also had wall issues”.  I ran the first 10K pretty hard, but thankfully only faded a little bit in the final 10K.  The 20th K was up a hill and into the wind.  I was really on fumes at that point.  My wife, Laurie, was spectating on that hill.  I wanted to stop and walk so badly at that point, but there was no way I was going to walk with her watching and me so close to the finish line.  I managed to get up that hill and then it was downhill the final K to the finish line.  I had the 33rd best run on the day and my run split was 1:34:52 (7:13/mile) for a finish time of 5:12:26.

Click on this link to see my race pictures and finish video:


We had such a great trip to Australia in every regard.  Our travels were all smooth and stress free and we saw so many great sights.  We started at Kangaroo Island.  From there we flew to Adelaide where we toured the Adelaide Oval (cricket, rugby, soccer stadium), the Migration Museum, the South Australian Museum and took in an Alfred Hitchcock play – The 39 Steps.  Then onto Brisbane for an evening.  Brisbane was beautiful along the river and we had dinner with 3 of Laurie’s former Carlsbad roommates from 15+ years ago – Darren and wife Jenny and friend Nina.  And finally onto Mooloolaba for the race.  We shared a condo overlooking the transition area, swim start and race finish with our Carlsbad friends, Diana and Brian.  The 4 of us spent a wonderful afternoon at the Australia Zoo, made famous by the late, great Steve Irwin.

Living the life…    

Posted in 2016, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments